31 Days to Pray for Your Spouse

31 Days to Pray for Your Spouse Challenge FB TeaserStarting today, I am excited to participate in a challenge to focus on praying for Andy for the month of January. What a great way to kick off the new year! I’ve never been as good as I want to be at praying for Andy. It’s easy to pray for people and things that are constantly on my mind because I see issues. Thankfully, that’s never been the case with my hubby. The last thing I want is to give him less than he’s due, but that’s exactly what I am prone to do if I’m not intentional.

My blogger friend Ashley came up with the great idea for this challenge as a way of helping us all make that intentionality a habit. Sign-up is as easy as providing your email to receive prayer prompts each day, and you can participate in a community on Facebook if you’d like further accountability.

To help me focus while I move through the challenge, I’ll be reading Ashley’s ebook, 31 Day to Build a Better Spouse (Power of Prayer). Click here to view more details and purchase the book. (That’s an affiliate link, which means I receive a commission if you purchase through it; it will not have an effect on the price of your purchase.)

Won’t you join me in this powerful exercise?

An Anniversary Post

Andy and I were married eight years ago today. In that time:

  • We lived with his parents for five years. Sometimes that was wonderful, and sometimes it was really tough. I came to understand and appreciate my husband more deeply for the opportunity to see the daily lives his family leads.
  • We purchased our home, and then spent three years renovating it before we moved in (and by “we” I mean mostly Andy and his dad…I just told them what to do 😉 ). Major home renovations (while living with parents) will test your relationship. We learned and grew through that process, as well. We’ve only had one truly rough time in our relationship, and it was toward the end of those renovations. There were a few days in there, when we were in different places and couldn’t find common ground, where, to be truthful, I didn’t like him. I learned about him, and about me, and about how we communicate, and I’m grateful for those few days. I also think it’s pretty fantastic that in eight years that’s been the extent of our conflict.
  • We have lost too many loved ones. Our wedding day was bookended by deaths, and we attended two funerals during our honeymoon week. It’s almost stunningly sad to think how many people we love have died in only eight years. But then, it isn’t possible to lose many loved ones unless you are surrounded by love. And we are.
  • I graduated from college, and got my MBA. I was in school approximately three years of our marriage…well, maybe a little more, because after my MBA I took a couple semesters of additional graduate classes. I’m sort of a geek. The Lord provided a job for me right out of my undergrad, and I still love it today. He was gracious in giving me the best bosses, who immediately embraced my wish to be home with my children once they were born, and valued me enough to make that work.
  • We became parents twice over. We moved into our house in November 2010. In December 2011 we welcomed Aria, and this July we welcomed Noah. Children bring out new aspects of our personalities and characters, and I am blessed to love and respect my husband more as we raise our children.

There are many more events, small and large, that make up our lives. We live a quiet life, and we love it that way. I am grateful we are surrounded by love and support; we were raised in strong, loving families by parents who are still happily married; we have beautiful children who are our delight; we have jobs we love with coworkers we value and enjoy.

The Lord has dealt graciously with us in every respect. I am a supremely blessed woman. I really can’t emphasize that enough. My husband has his flaws, but his flaws and his strengths complement mine, and I love sharing this life with him. I’m looking forward to year nine!

10 Things I Appreciate About My Husband

Angie over at Many Little Blessings hosts a Top Ten Tuesday link-up every week. I’m going to try to start participating, because I think it’s a fun idea. I’m a planner by nature. I like lists. I make lists of lists I need to make (it’s a sickness). So, this idea of writing posts in list format is quite appealing to me.

Today was one of those days when I had no time to sit down and write. It was my first official day back to work, both kids were clingy, and I was partnerless until 9pm. But the reason I was partnerless until 9pm? My husband came home from work and went right back out the door to do our bi-weekly grocery shopping. Friends, he does this regularly. Do I have a keeper or what? As it happens, I already planned to write my first top ten post on the topic of my hubby, so here goes…and it is currently 11:40pm, so hopefully I can get this posted before midnight!

10 things I appreciate about my husband, in no particular order:

  1. He does chores without a word. We split the regular household chores, and have been married long enough that we each know our areas of responsibility. Like most of us, he has some household chores he absolutely hates (like cleaning the litterboxes for the cats I’ve taken in, the ones he wouldn’t have if it weren’t for me). And he does those chores without a word of complaint or reminding.
  2. He keeps the books. He keeps track of every cent we spend, in detail. He also pays all the bills (except the ones that require a check, and even those he often reminds me of). Not only does he do all this, but he also keeps spreadsheets so I can see at a glance where we are with each major bill (mortgage, student loans) and our monthly budget.
  3. He does the grocery shopping. We used to do this together, but after Aria was born it became difficult. She ate every two hours, and if we went together she had to nurse before we could head home. So he started going on his own, and he’s kept it up now for 20 months. And you know what? He’s SO much better at it than I am.
  4. He supports me in all my endeavors. He’s never discouraged me from doing anything I was passionate about, even if it was inconvenient to him. I won’t go so far as to say he doesn’t grumble when the time comes for him to be inconvenienced, but I don’t begrudge him a little grousing when he’s so patently fabulous.
  5. He is a fantastic father. Oh my, I love to watch him love his kids. Aria adores him, and I know Noah will, as well. He’s involved with them. He’s patient and gentle, but he draws clear lines regarding acceptable behavior.
  6. He’s funny. One of the first things I appreciated about Andy was the way he made me laugh. His sense of humor is sort of snarky, which plays well with me. 🙂 He’s very quiet until he’s comfortable with people or in a given situation, so the fact he’s funny can catch you off guard. I love it.
  7. He’s solid as a rock. I’m passionate and can be sort of flighty, and he’s the opposite. I dive into things, and he contemplates things. Occasionally we drive each other nuts, but I love this side of him. And, I recognize how valuable it is to have a partner who is steady, dependable.
  8. He is reasonable. Oh my, does this make all the difference in a relationship. I bounce everything off him, because he thinks things through and is rational in his approach. Occasionally we bicker, but in our 12 year relationship we’ve hardly ever fought, not because we’re afraid to, but because we don’t need to.
  9. He always wants to do what’s best. Once he has been convinced that a given course is the best, he will follow it. He does it quietly, without fanfare. He does it even if it’s hard.
  10. He is my partner in everything. We work side-by-side in life. He’s not afraid to lead, and he’s not afraid to follow. Honestly, I can’t imagine a better partner for me. God handpicked the perfect spouse for me (not a perfect man, but then I am also far from perfect).

And on top of all that? He loves to cook!

I’m linking up to Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings!